Greenland ice-sheet mass-balance distribution: a variance analysis of existing field data

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A large number of mass-balance measurements have been carried out on the Greenland ice sheet, but few of the series obtained are well suited for statistical studies. Rather than looking at the global mass-balance value, this paper deals with the spatial and temporal mass-balance variability on the ice sheet. Two sorts of analysis are possible: direct comparisons of the series measured at a given site, or a broader approach involving comparisons between different sites using variance analysis. For glaciers in the southwest ablation area, a significant interannual variability (around 1.0 m w.e.) is found. This variability is spatially consistent. In the accumulation area, the results are more complex. For example, there is consistent evidence of year-to-year variations on the west-east Expéditions Glaciologiques Internationales au Groenland (EGIG) profile, but other closer sites are weakly correlated. These results emphasize the need for a better coverage of measurements over the entire ice sheet, as well as longer and more continuous measurement series.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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